by WorldTribune Staff, January 8, 2017
Pink slips dated Jan. 20 have gone out to all diplomats who were appointed by President Barack Obama.
President-elect Donald Trump has ordered every Obama-appointed diplomat home in the days following his inauguration. Most got their posts after generous political donations.
Past administrations allowed diplomats an extension until a replacement could be found, but the State Department notified all diplomats of a break from that tradition on Dec. 23.
“When you have people out there whose only reason for being an ambassador is their political connection to the outgoing president of the different party, it’s pretty logical to say they should leave,” former ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain, and Afghanistan Ronald Newmann told The New York Times.
“But I don’t recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, ‘everybody out of the pool immediately.’ ”
Trump has said he does not want any political appointee of the outgoing president to serve during the new administration. The president-elect has emphasized that he wants all appointments made as a result of political donations to end “on schedule.”
“It feels like there’s an element just of spite and payback in it,” former ambassador to Finland Derek Shearer told the Times. “I don’t see a higher policy motive.”
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said the move is just another in a long line of “big” changes Trump is making.
“It’s going to be not one big thing; it’s going to be many big things,” Spicer said. “On day one, he’s going to sign a series of executive orders to do two things. One is repeal a lot of the regulations and actions that have been taken by this administration over the last eight years that have hampered both economic growth and job creation.”